The lunar month and gestation

Peter J. Claus pclaus at
Fri May 30 15:51:02 UTC 1997


There are differences in populations with regard to such variables as
birth size and weight as well as gestation period.  I vaguely remember
reading somewhere that the gestation period of a certain population in
India (which, I don't remember) was rather less than the average in the
West (America?).  Whether this (satistical data) works it's way into folk
concepts I don't know.  But in Tulunad (SW coast) women reported to me
that the ideal time to conceive was the first day (night, I presume) after
the bath following menstruation, and THAT was best because they would
produce a boy child, the day after would produce a girl, and this would
alternate after that. By mid-month (menstrual) pregnancy would be
difficult at best.  So much for correlating statistics and folk belief! 

I'm not sure how closely this follows Ayur Vedic concepts, but I know that
there are variations even in the region's folk belief.

Medical anthropologist Mark Nichter has some papers on folk pregnancy
beliefs and modern medical statistical findings from Indian populations.
One source is his _Anthropology and International Health: South Asian Case
Studies (1989).

Peter Claus

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